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Associated Press
11/3/2006 1:25:16 AM


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Backup goalie Kevin Weekes stopped 29 shots in his second win in two nights, and the New York Rangers finished a successful road trip with a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

Matt Cullen scored a breakaway goal in the final second of the opening period, and Martin Straka also scored as the Rangers got their third victory in four West Coast games.

Weekes lost his shutout bid on Kyle McLaren's goal with 2:24 to play, but was outstanding for the second straight night after playing just one previous game all season behind starter Henrik Lundqvist.

After beating Anaheim on Wednesday, Weekes knocked off another Pacific Division power despite San Jose's superior offensive pressure and a 30-19 shot advantage that seemed even larger.

The Sharks missed several scoring chances in the final seconds before Brendan Shanahan scored an empty-net goal that banked off the boards near the New York bench and somehow went all the way in with 3.6 seconds left. The bizarre goal was the 610th of Shanahan's career, tying him with Bobby Hull for 12th place on the NHL's career goal-scoring list.

It was the first meeting between Joe Thornton and Jaromir Jagr since they finished 1-2 in the NHL's Most Valuable Player voting last summer, but neither superstar did much.

Evgeni Nabokov made 16 saves but got little support as the Sharks returned from a successful five-game road trip by picking up exactly where they left off in a one-sided home loss to Minnesota nearly two weeks ago. Fans booed the Sharks' normally potent power play as it went 0-for-5.

San Jose largely dominated the first period, but the Rangers scored in the final instant when Thornton and two defencemen got caught in an awkward pinch and gave up Cullen's breakaway. He beat Nabokov with 0.7 seconds left for his fourth goal of the year.

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